Blumenauer Introduces Legislation to Help Communities Prepare for Disasters

September 18, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) today introduced the Safe Communities Act. As Oregon and the rest of the northwest experience another summer of destructive wildfires and the southeast deals with the aftermath of back-to-back damaging hurricanes, this bill would provide grants to states and local communities to help them plan for and mitigate the most damaging aspects of disasters.

Specifically, the legislation would create a new grant program to support state, local and regional planning activities aimed at reducing threats posed by natural and human-caused disasters. Grant-eligible projects include comprehensive risk assessment and inventory of critical infrastructure, land-use planning for natural hazards and terrorism security, and updating building codes and urban design techniques for risk-reduction.

“The devastation of the wildfires at home in Oregon and the hurricanes in the southeast requires our urgent efforts to help the victims of these tragic events, but also shows how vital it is to reduce future risks,” said Blumenauer. “The grants authorized by the Safe Communities Act will help communities plan for the future, prevent damage, and save money.”

Blumenauer is a leader in Congress on disaster preparedness, mitigation, and recovery. He and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) today published an editorial in Bloomberg View on the need to reform the federal flood insurance program.